I’m extremely health-conscious, but Whole Foods really sucks. Far from a liberal, one of my friends actually thought I was a liberal at first because I’m such a health fanatic. Organic this, no high-fructose corn syrup that, this has artificial sweeteners, that has MSG – in this sense, I somewhat identify with those who go to Whole Foods. Except that I don’t.
Here are the top 8 reasons why Whole Foods sucks, and it isn’t what you think. By the way, I have absolutely no affiliation with Sprouts and was not paid anything for this article. This is completely my own opinion based on personal experience and research.
1 Massively overpriced for the exact same items
You may think you can get more healthy stuff at Whole Foods, and you’re willing to pay more for it. IT’S A LIE. You can get literally the EXACT same item, brand, literally the exact same thing at Sprouts (or many other places) for about 40% less. This is not an exaggeration. I’ve gone to Whole Foods a handful of times, and one of those times I immediately went to Sprouts immediately afterward. Sprouts has sale days about once a week or so and I happened to go on the sale day – but things are usually on sale when I go there anyway. Well, about 10 items I looked at in Whole Foods, the exact, literally exact same item and brand, were at Sprouts for a fraction of the price. What a ripoff. Whole Foods is literally highway robbery.
Whole Foods profits on naive customers who are brainwashed by advertising and the ubiquitousness of their store’s brand name (“Whole Foods” is a household name now). There is absolutely zero reason to pay more at Whole Foods rather than the same item for a dramatically lower price at Sprouts [Farmer’s Market], or your actual local Farmer’s Market from actual local farmers selling their goods, or heck, even Trader Joe’s is better than Whole Foods, although still more expensive than Sprouts.
There are also a slew of local businesses, and I’m sure if you ask around someone knows about the local organic places that carry everything you want, at a better price, and higher quality. You can even call around your local farms who, for most goods, will love to sell you their just-picked, actually-fresh truly organic products directly for a fraction of the price.
2 Bulk scooped goods are not unique to Whole Foods
Sprouts has the same, but better, bulk section where you can scoop out your own quantities and put them in a bag, such as granola, various nuts, seeds, chocolates, etc. Plus, of course, the price is way better at Sprouts. Just about every organic market or farmer’s market type of healthy store has one of these sections. Don’t support Whole Foods’ ripoff prices.
It’s true that it can still be a little pricey anywhere, but likely not as expensive as Whole Foods. Truth is I’ve done the math and things like granola and nuts, with the exception of the more premium mixes, pretty much add up to the same prices as buying in bulk from Sam’s Club. So no, Whole Foods is not the only place to get bulk foods.
3 Shopping at Whole Foods hurts local farmers
Whole Foods is a chain grocery store, which is marketing to rich and naive shoppers. The problem is that due to greenwashing (brainwashing with deceptive “green” marketing tactics) they trick shoppers into paying more to Whole Foods which is severe competition for actual local farmers who are desperately trying to sell their organic vegetables, fruits, meats, and other healthy natural home-grown goods so they can keep their farm’s lights on. Don’t fall for the “buy local” greenwashing banners.
The only “local” you’re buying is the local Whole Foods store. Most of their goods do *not* come from actual local farmers. Heck, even Sam’s Club sells more “local” food from “local” farmers than Whole Foods. “Buy Local” is nothing but an advertising scam. It’s “technically” true, but not really.
Aldi’s actually sources actual local milk from local farmers, at least so it says on the label, and is free from hormones. Local raw honey and maple syrup is found in bulk for amazing prices at Sam’s Club and Costco. Why pay quadruple the price at Whole Foods for the same thing in a trendy [tiny] glass jar? If you want raw local honey, buy in bulk at Sam’s, and if you want a glass jar then buy a set of mason jars and transfer the Sam’s local organic raw honey and local organic raw Maple Syrup into your own glass trendy mason jars you bought off Amazon or somewhere. Save a ton of money and stop supporting Whole Foods scammers.
4 It’s still mostly pre-packaged crap
So I walk into Whole Foods expecting to find this healthy organic place. Instead I find a standard supermarket with aisles and aisles of overpriced greenwashing, tens of thousands of pre-packaged goods that are, despite the advertising and packaging, effectively hardly less unhealthy than just your standard grocery store, but you will pay 10 times the price at Whole Foods. It is nothing but a deceptive marketing strategy aimed at stealing money out of consumer’s pockets.
5 Small portions are deceptive price increases
Whole Foods has mastered the marketing ploy of smaller portions as a way to deceptively increase prices. At the regular grocery store, there is an organic product for $4.99. At Whole Foods, there is the same product for $9.99. But wait – this is not quite the same product. As you look closer, you see the grocery store product is 10oz but the Whole Foods same product is 5oz. Therefore the Whole Foods item is $20 compared to the $5 for the organic grocery store same item. They tricked you not into paying double, but quadruple the price for something that is debatably marginally better quality.
Granted, all grocery stores started using this trickery ever since the financial crisis of 2008, but Whole Foods takes it to a new level.
6 They cultivate that evil customer attitude
The people at Whole Foods is often complained about. Some bloggers complain about having to wait 30 minutes for the seafood because the customer kept going on about whether it was a South Vietnamese or North Vietnamese fish and whether the farmer’s wives were given equality. Okay so he was being facetious but really this is the type of clientele you get. The sad part is that these picky suckers with bad attitudes are really getting duped.
Then again, maybe it’s good there’s a Whole Foods because now we don’t have to accidentally run into that neurotic bleeding-heart vegan who would rather eat bugs or dead human meat (yes, it’s actually a thing) than that poor animal beef. Cry a tear for me, please. By the way, plants have feelings too! Cruel vegan, how can you be so mean to cut that plant’s head off while it’s still alive! Or to rip that poor potato from its home in the dirt where it was so happy?
Other bloggers complain about how it’s always too busy and people are always in a rush, making shopping difficult. Parking is likewise an issue. It makes sense because Whole Foods cultivates that entitled, snobbish, neurotic behavior that is the bane of society today.
7 The green advertising scams (greenwashing)
I’m all for making sure that your food is really organic and genuine. But the guy at the meat counter isn’t truly going to know what brand of grass the cows ate, or if they were even fed grass, because he only works for Whole Foods where he gets paid too little to sell overpriced meat to neurotic customers. The truth is that if it didn’t come straight from the farmer, you never really know if that food is really what they say it is, because the truth is they pretty much always cut corners to increase their profit margin.
It’s like “free range” eggs. It’s a scam. Free range is a scam that means that legally the hens have like an hour a day to go outside in a small enclosed open-air cage of a particular size, and the rest of the time they still live a life of close-quarters caged misery and may still be fed poor diets and fed certain antibiotics which aren’t on the FDA “banned” list. Yes, it’s all a scam. The same goes for all the other foods. Even PETA sued Whole Foods a few years ago for claiming their meat was treated far more humane than it really was.
The only way you know for sure, like for example for eggs, is 1) don’t shop at whole foods, for sure, 2) don’t buy mass-packaged eggs, and 3) visit your local farmer where you get your eggs and observe the free ranging hens living a happy and free life in humane and sanitary conditions. It’s been proven that the quality of food (meat, eggs, milk, etc) from these truly free and happy animals are dramatically higher than their Walmart or Whole Foods counterparts.
8 The salad bar and hot bar scam
Go to Whole Foods and inevitably you will see some sucker dumping 6 pounds of chicken onto his salad bar plate. The truth is, the salad bar is the least healthy of all, because they don’t have to label it. They can put any old vegetables and meat on there, and since it’s inside Whole Foods, the suckers inside will be never the wiser. This is pretty much the same everywhere, but the problem is that at Whole Foods, you get the same salad bar as your fancy walmart except you pay 10 times the price for an unhealthy salad.
In fact, the problem is so widespread that Whole Foods was actually sued and lost – they settled at nearly a million dollars for widespread fraud with their salad bar and hot bar. Not only were thy fraudulently weighing the salad bar items higher, another deceptive price strategy similar to the “small packaging” trickery; but also they even touted “organic” and “natural” ingredients which were found to actually be ordinary non-organic items with artificial ingredients and other chemicals.
And that’s just what they were caught for. You can bet that the majority of the “healthy” items in Whole foods are nothing but trickery. This list is just the start as to why Whole Foods sucks. Why does anyone shop there? Perhaps because people are gullible, and they see advertisements and watch commercials. Also because most people are generally trusting, which unfortunately is taken advantage of by greenwashing robbers like Whole Foods.